Working with humans means there’s going to be drama. It’s unavoidable and the result of power struggles, gossip, arguments and personality conflicts. However, there are ways you can make the situation worse and ways you can walk away from it – essentially avoiding it in the process. Here are some tips for do’s and don’ts.
How Can You Avoid Office Drama
Don’t vent in the office.
It’s easy to get sucked into boss bashing or talking about a co-worker you don’t get along with. But when these conversations start happening, walk away instead of participating. Even if you think you’re talking with someone who is trustworthy, you don’t know who they will share your views with. Don’t be a part of the drama or rumor mill.
Don’t be unprofessional.
Instead, try to take the high road, treating everyone professionally and with respect. When drama arises, be calm and diplomatic. Don’t assume the other person is coming from a negative or malicious place. Instead, work together to hear each other out, so you can defuse drama, while maintaining positive and professional boundaries.
Do handle a conflict professionally.
If you have a true issue with a co-worker, handle it in a professional manner. Talk to them privately and give them a chance to explain their view on the matter. You might find out that you took something the wrong way or misunderstood, so don’t automatically get angry. Instead, try to resolve the situation in a tactful way and in-person, if possible, so you can read body language and facial expressions. This helps reduce further misunderstandings.
Do wait before you reply.
If a co-worker or boss sends you an email that upsets you, don’t reply immediately. Wait a minute to re-read it carefully and make sure you are fully understanding what they are saying. You don’t want to dash off an angry email in reply when you misunderstood what they said in the first place. It’s best to wait a minute, or even think about it over a lunch or coffee break, so you can respond in the best way and avoid future drama.
Do walk away when it’s time.
If your workplace culture is based on drama, then it might be time to go. Start looking for a new job and put a healthy, positive culture at the top of your list. When you’re interviewing, ask questions related to the culture, how conflict is handled, what leadership styles are like and other related questions. Even if it takes some time to find a new job, you’ll feel better knowing you’ll soon be in a drama-free workplace.
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